By Cathy Applefeld Olson
TikTok is a bona-fide self-isolation phenom, and now its biggest star, Charli D’Amelio, is using her platform to raise money for two organizations during the coronavirus crisis. In partnership with Procter & Gamble, 15-year-old D’Amelio in late March launched the #DistanceDance challenge, encouraging her 46.9 million followers to post a dance with the hashtag. The initiative thus far has logged close to 9.9 billion views, and P&G already has upped its donation threshold from the first 3 million video posts to the first 4 million. On Friday, April 10 at 8p, D’Amelio will host a #DistanceDance Party on Instagram Live with some big-name guests expected to make surprise appearances. Here’s the scoop:
What was your inspiration for creating the #DistanceDance challenge? What were your initial expectations, and what’s surprised you about its rollout thus far?
I created the #DistanceDance Challenge because I wanted to encourage as many people as possible to stay home, so we can each do our part to stop the spread of the disease. I think it’s great it has caught on and also helped raise money for really important charities. Seeing 10 billion views and people post their #DistanceDance videos from home is fun.
How did the Procter & Gamble partnership come about?
P&G approached me to see how we could work together to spread this message and have been so generous donating to two amazing charities, Feeding America and Matthew 25 Food Pantry.
Can you share details about the Instagram Live dance party?
My family and I will be live on Instagram Live Friday night for a #DistanceDance Party. There will also be some other surprise guests who you might not expect so I hope everyone will join!
What does it feel like to be the platform’s biggest star, and how do you feel has your role and responsibility have changed during this time?
It’s really nice to know that while we are social distancing, we can still find ways to feel connected, come together and have some fun. It’s been a wild ride so far—I still can’t believe how many people are following me and how much support I’ve gotten. I feel really lucky to be able to use this platform to spread positivity and great causes.
Anything you can share about your upcoming plans in media and entertainment?
There are so many different opportunities I’m exploring right now and I’m so excited about what’s upcoming for both [my sister] Dixie and I around fashion, beauty and acting. But I never want to stray too far from my roots in dance, it will always be a big part of who I am. It’s a passion of mine that continues to give me inspiration every day, both online and off. I can’t wait to share more details soon.